Sunday, January 29, 2012

What Freedom of Speech Really Is

To some people, one of the most important basic human rights is freedom of speech, and that means being able to express any words or ideas freely without censorship.

Which I think is stupid.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can say/write anything you want. As an existentialist, I truly believe that you are free to do whatever you want to as long as you do it responsibly and execute your actions without being offensive to the point of endangering others in any way.

While I was in Trondheim, Norway, a very wise Afghan ex-minister closed one of her speeches by saying, and I'm rephrasing her quote due to bad memory, "Freedom of speech is like a long piece of wood. You can do whatever you want with it, play with it, throw it, or swing it like a whip. As long as it doesn't hit anyone, it's fine. The moment someone gets hurt, that's when you're in the wrong."

The next time I hear someone using freedom of speech to defend their being insolent, instead of applauding them for exercising their rights, I'll just dismiss them as another bigoted imbecile. Like we need any more of those.

3 comments:

klcitizen cikgunormah said...

agree

WP said...

Love that quote :)

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of that quote by Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr.;"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."